Getting my beauty fix at Bluemercury and Macy’s

We’re already in February and how I sense 2016 is flying by.

My birthday is coming up in 2 weeks and I’m feeling the effect of the number (getting up there!) and the image in the mirror au naturel. “OY!!! WHAT THE…???” seems to be my go to reaction, usually after doing a double-take in the morning. ¿Pues qué me pasó?! Is this the new reality?

Needless to say, I’m going through an evolving/complicated relationship with beauty and beauty products.

Love them, use them for a bit, discard them, and then I’ll want to try the next new thing. You say wrinkle eliminators, crease fillers, skin savers, dark spot erasers…I’ll bite. But there’s also a skeptic inside, telling me: you know this is too good to be true, it’ll never work, it won’t deliver. And yet! I want the dream and the promise. I want skin that glows, that represents youth or at least gives me the illusion of my younger self. (But that’s another issue altogether.)

So I was intrigued when I recently got an invite to the opening of Bluemercury, a new concept at Macy’s of a beauty spa within the store featuring high end luxury brands, products and treatments.  I like the idea. It seems like a chance to up the ante on my beauty game and try new things. These are products you don’t normally see at their counters and brands I’ve been meaning to try forever. Why hello, Creme de la Mer! Look, there’s Darphin, a French brand I only read about in magazines…

There are 2 Bluemercury shops that just opened in the L.A. Area, one in Macy’s Santa Anita and one in Macy’s Rancho Cucamonga. I’m looking forward to more openings on the west side (we love these things over here too!) and hopefully go get a facial soon.

My lovely friends at Macy’s were kind enough to send me a goodie bag with a sample of the Bluemercury M-61 line, a proprietary brand that seems to do all the things I need for my beauty regimen, doesn’t do animal testing (a big deal in my book) and doesn’t use undesirable ingredients (me dan miedo todos los “sulfates” y esas cosas).

Bluemercury m61

Bluemercury beauty bag courtesy of Macy’s.

I’ll give you an update on the products after I use them for a few weeks and hopefully get a chance to visit Bluemercury soon. In the meantime, here are some pictures courtesy of Macy’s* from their recent launch.

Happy February everyone, let’s make it happy and healthy and beauty-full.

(*Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was invited by Macy’s to their event and received the beauty samples to try out. The opinions expressed here are my own.)

IMG_5760

The complete M-61 line is available only at Bluemercury.

Nars

All the colors of the rainbow at the Nars display. So pretty!

Darphin

I’m curious to try out the Darphin line, French women really know their beauty products.

 

 

TGIF, Cinco de Mayo Fever, and a Super Moon

Oh yeah, it’s Friday. This weekend couldn’t come soon enough. For all of you who haven’t noticed, today is “Star Wars Day” which gives you a chance to say the now famous tag line “May the Fourth Be With You.”

But mañana, ah mañana nos da a todos los ex-pats mexicanos living in the US a chance to appreciate the one Mexican Holiday that gringous love and cherish, the annual “let’s drink till we crawl” Margarita infused celebration that has become “Cincou de Mayouu”.

Let’s be honest, people here don’t know, and frankly don’t care, that this historic celebration commemorates La Batalla de Puebla. It was 150 years ago in the beautiful state of Puebla, México, when the Mexicanos defeated and outmaneuvered a los franceses who had invaded the land of ours. So Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that observes a historical and mathematical coup in México, one that always makes us proud. (Never mind that a few days later los franceses got their act together and came back for more desmadre and fighting… but that’s another story.)

Pero si quisieramos celebrar como Dios manda, we should not just drink Margaritas, but enjoy the typical Poblano dishes, like Mole Poblano, Chalupas, Chiles en Nogada and other delicacies. If only we had a “Fonda de Santa Clara” restaurant in LA. I haven’t found one yet, so I’m gonna have to stick to the Margaritas.

If you feel adventurous, and if you’re not driving this weekend, may I suggest a recipe I found on Bonappetit.com. I think it’s a good twist on the original, and it sounds really good. Click on the photo for the recipe. BUT PLEASE DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE.

Click on the image to get the recipe from bonappetit.com

Also, not to be missed this weekend, is the annual appearance of the “Super Moon,” which is basically the largest size the moon appears all year and the closest it gets to the Earth. (Just don’t get too close, Luna)…And it’s gonna happen on Saturday as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

“For reasons still unknown to science, the moon appears much larger and more magnificent when it is near the horizon than when it is soaring overhead, despite the fact that the moon’s size never actually changes.” (Click here to go to the article by space.com)

Image from Space.com

Just be careful of all the lunáticos * (you know who they are) who get extra moody, sensitive or weirder “cuando la luna se pone regrandota,  como una pelotota y alumbra el callejón…”

For a musical rendition of this fabulous line, check out “El Gato Viudo” on the link. Gracias Chava Flores!

A visit to The Last Bookstore in DTLA

The Last Bookstore is located on the corner of Spring and 5th Street in downtown Los Angeles.

For those of us who love books, finding a new bookstore that speaks to our nerdy sensibilites as well as to our aesthetic values brings new thrills which are hard to describe. For me, I guess it’s one of those things that makes me want to do a happy dance. No me da pena admitirlo, estas son las cosas that get me all excited.

So it was a particular joy to discover such a place right in the middle of the vibrant downtown LA reinvention, on the corner of Spring and 5th street. The place is called “The Last Bookstore” and it is awesome.

Originally, I had read of about this bookstore in a fabulous article/list which was shared on Twitter called “The 20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World”. (Click on the link to go to the list.) I was particularly excited to see that El Péndulo, in Mexico DF (La Condesa) had made the list. I’ve been there several times and yes, it’s beautiful. But since one of the bookstores mentioned is right here in LA, I knew I had to visit. (I hereby proclaim a newfound obsession about visiting them all, even if it takes years to travel around the world.)

Lucky for me that my friend Olivia is also a nerd (I say it with respect and admiration) and was psyched to go along for the discovery. So off we went. The site is a wonderful building with great “bones” and architecture. Its wide open space and columns made me think of an opulent time from the past in downtown LA, when it may have been a bank or financial institution, but thankfully has been rescued/recycled into a place of knowledge.

You can read the story about The Last Bookstore here, and you may be curious to know, they buy books in good condition (no encyclopedias, no books that are falling apart or smell like kitty litter) and they are usually interested in classical literature in hardcover. Pero yo les voy a llevar algunas novelas/libros en español que talvez puedan quedar en mejores manos…

Here are some pictures, and just so you know, you can find books on almost any subject here at a great deal. Most of them are very cheap and you won’t feel like you are breaking the bank.

Happy Reading!

A wide angle view of the bookstore.

The cashier is a beautiful sculpture of books.

Grab a book and make yourself comfortable.

Just don't stay there too long, lounging and not buying anything. This is a business after all. There is a one hour time limit for sitting and reading. ¡No se vayan a dormir!

La sección de libros en español. I personally plan to contribute to new reading material, since I think they could use more titles.

Hey, you can find paperbacks from James Joyce and the book of Dream Interpretation from Freud. (I have a few dreams I have to analyze myself!)

Olivia finds a Decca record she likes. They have a huge selection of LP's for 99 cents.

She also found a disco de Menudo, from the early days, and I almost flipped. Look: Miguel, Xavier, Charly, Ricky, and Jhonny!

They also have a coffee bar that serves "Cafecito Orgánico" coffee and other treats.

The lovely Miss O at The Last Bookstore.

Coca Cola Mexicana Rules! And now you can get it at Costco.

Shopping for the Holidays at Costco yet? Me di un quick trip this past weekend and lo and behold- que se me atraviesa un pallet de Coca Cola Mexicana, made in Mexico, in the original glass bottles de medio litro, with a big “Hecho en Mexico” stamp on the box.

¿Qué tal? Now this is the REAL THING of the real thing, you know what I mean?

Yo creo que ha de haber bastantes fans (adictos) al sabor super dulce de la Mexican version because once you sell wholesale across the border and once you’re in Costco, then you must be in demand! Apparently they are considered a gourmet/connoisseur version of regular Coke. But us mexicanos, we already knew that.

For the die hard Mexican Coca Cola fans, la Coca Cola mexicana is now sold at Costco, by the case, for 16.99. Go out and get some.

La había visto por otros lados en la ciudad, en Bottega Louie de downtown y en el M Market on Holly, en Pasadena. Pero ahi las venden individuales.

So now you know, should you need your fix. Seems like now you CAN have a Coca Cola and a smile.

Fall movies que quiero ver

Are you all getting ready for Thanksgiving next week? I am looking forward to the food, the family love, and the pumpkin pie. Also, the long weekend is a great chance to catch up on all the fall movie and new releases at my local Arclight and Laemmle theaters (los mejores cines en LA, if you ask me.)

Here are a few clips of recent and upcoming releases that look like my cup of tea.

THE DESCENDANTS Directed by Alexander Payne and starring George Clooney. This is the latest release by the director of Election, About Schmidt and Sideways,  and it’s been getting wonderful reviews. Este es un director que me gusta mucho por como maneja las emociones y los dramas de la vida diaria con mucho dark humor pero sin hacer juicios.

THE MUPPETS– Directed by James Bobin and starring Jason Segel and Amy Adams.

This movie is for the kid in ALL of us.

I grew up in Mexico watching The Muppets and they were just as equally famous over there as they were here.  It was called “El Show de los Muppets” y lo pasaban en español.  We would watch them every Sunday nights on Canal 13 (which no longer exists) and it was a BIG deal.

Jason Segel (who also wrote the movie) recently tweeted that he was in Mexico promoting the film and he didn’t know why the female reporter was getting all emotional about it. Well, that’s because we loved it too. Ask anyone who grew up with them and we can immediately time travel back to the late 70’s/ early 80’s and start signing the Muppet theme while visualizing the Theater opening…. “It’s time to play the music! It’s time to light the lights…” (Or as we used to sing it “Ta ta ta ra ta ta ta…Ta ra ta ra ta ta”) Here are the Trailer and the Original Theme song from the TV Show.

The Muppets Movie

The Muppets Original Song

HUGO– Directed by Martin Scorsese. Just by looking at this trailer, I immediately know I want to see this film. It looks amazingly beautiful.  Don’t you love the cinematography and 3D animation? The fact that Mr. Scorsese directed this movie makes me want to see it even more.

Frivolous Friday Fun, puro chisme.

Es viernes, por fin. Yay!

Después de una semanita medio heavy, allow me to indulge in a little pop culture fix. Me puse a revisar mis online guilty pleasures y me encontré con varias cosas/happenings de esta semana:

1. Ricky Martin is back to his brunette ways, thank God! Remember his wild Guero phase? He was just messing with his God given beauty but somebody must’ve made him come to his senses.

This photo was taken on a trip to Buenos Aires, where he met with La Presidenta, Cristina Fernández. From People.com StarTracks today:

OK now Ricky, looking better. Don't go get all loco on us again with the blonde mullet. (Photo: People.com)

2. From Quien.com this week: Shakira wants us to know she’s all hot and heavy these days and just premiered her Rabiosa video/song which is very racy, to say the least. She’s a brunette flapper in a club and a pole dancer, with an emphasis on the pole dancer part….

I’m not gonna get all preachy y santurrona on you, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say I’ve lost all respect for her as an artist.  (Just saying!) Como puso alguien en el youtube “¿En donde quedó aquella artista que cantaba con la guitarra y componía buena música?” and “Congratulations on all your new fans that like your empty music.” Ouch! Some even wrote unflattering descriptions of her, the least of which is “es una vulgar,” pero eso sí, ya tiene more than 13 million hits su video! (And by the way, the song says “Featuring Pitbull” which is nowhere to be found on the video.)

Shakira and the pole. Really Shakira? There have to be other ways of feeling empowered as a woman...Super TACHA. (Foto from Quien.com)

3. Según People en Español.com, ahora resulta que Jenni Rivera está disculpándose por las últimas faltas de respeto a sus fans, tanto ella como las de su hermano. Yeah right…Cuéntenme una de vaqueros. A esta familia les encanta el escándalo. Finísimas personas, ellos.

From Peoplenespanol.com "Estoy apenada por lo que el público ve en estos videos."

Behold: The last Tamal* of the season.

(* Ojo: puse Tamal y no Tamale, como incorrectamente le dicen los gringous. Even I have to follow some language rules here!)

¿Siguen comiendo? OK, pues ya estuvo bueno de tanto overeating, if you know what I mean. In my case, it was as if there was no tomorrow since before Christmas. Le entré duro! And now I regret it a bit, as I’m sure you can relate. Before you know it, ya te echaste 5 pounds en una semana. WHY? Why is it so hard to not stuff yourself and eat without abandon during the holidays?

Enough is enough. Esta noche, me eché el último tamalito que quedaba de los tamales regalados (los homedame tamales de Mama Lilia volaron como todos los años, but that’s another story.)

I guess no relative of mine remembered there was still a beef tamale (como  les dicen por aquí), Sonora style, in the fridge. But how could they? After the stuffing ourselves with New Year turkey con relleno, glazed ham, cranberry jello, bacalao a la vizcaina, menudo, y de postre: pies de manzana y berry…and all the bread you can think of, ya ni se acordaron. Mucha comida, gracias a Dios. Pero mañana deberia irme a correr 5km según lo decreté en mis “resolutions” y la verdad, pues estoy que no me muevo. I guess it’s the first test to my newfound resolve. Ahi les platico.

Estaba bueno.